The thing about having a four-year-old kid in the house is that we always have a really effervescent coach around. Laurea and I watched Ted Lasso earlier this year; it is the kind of show we would never have watched, absent a global pandemic—a cavalcade of feel-good moments marching down a road paved with encouragement. At the end of the show, we cried it out and went about our business for the next few days, buoyed by Coach Lasso’s player-first leadership style. After a while, though, the halo dissipated, and while we didn’t have an inspirational television trainer to carry us through, we did have Kina.
There are many things that make Kina upset, but very few of them are true catastrophes. In the moments that are true catastrophes, however, Kina truly shines as an inspirational figure. Got COVID? Kina’s there to pull you through with a silly dance. Stressed out at work? All good—Kina’s shirtless and wearing a bow tie. Struggling to face the state of the world? It happens; Kina can tell you about how the Octonauts saved a herd of sea pigs. They worked together and made it happen. The Octonauts, like our family, are the perfect team. There’s nothing that a little cooperation and dancing can’t help.
We were a little worried at the start of the pandemic about letting Kina watch TV. Like most of the idealistic perspectives we had on parenting, television was just a domino waiting to fall. But the shows she’s chosen have helped to shape her worldview—collaborative, loving, silly—and I don’t think we’d choose to do it differently, if we had to (and god I hope we don’t have to). We all crave a little feel-good show right now, I think, and we’re lucky to have a full-time, all-singing, all-dancing little Ted Lasso living in the room next door. If you know some sea pigs that need saving, I can point them in the right direction.